Premier League - Bolton hold Newcastle to draw
The hosts had taken an early lead when Kevin Nolan nodded them ahead after thirteen minutes in an entertaining first-half.
Sturridge levelled before the interval, becoming the first Bolton player in the Premier League era to score in all four of his first four games for the club.
Ryan Taylor was sent off for a two-footed tackle in the second half which arrested Newcastle's momentum, and neither side managed to conjure a winner.
The draw ends Bolton's run of six consecutive defeats on the road in the Premier League, and lifts them a place in the table to seventh, while Newcastle stay ninth.
Newcastle's ailing forward line was given a boost by Peter Lovenkrands recovering from a thigh injury in time to take a place in the starting line-up, while Bolton were buoyed by being able to bring Sturridge back into the team after his absence from their FA Cup games.
The game started openly, with both sides prepared to attack.
The Magpies created the better chances, and went ahead after 13 minutes when Nolan headed in his 11th goal of the season.
Taylor's corner had evaded everyone in the penalty area, but Cheik Tiote mopped up on the left-hand side and whipped a cross in which Nolan turned in expertly beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Bolton remained a threat - with the combination of Johan Elmander and Sturridge looking particularly effective - but as the half continued Newcastle looked more likely to score the next.
Nolan's through ball to Best looked to have drawn a penalty as the striker was felled, only for play to be pulled back for a marginal offside.
Jose Enrique was superb down the left, making a couple of coruscating runs, including one which he completed with a cross which Jaaskelainen could not deal with, and David Wheater had to make a superb block to prevent Best scoring.
But the second goal didn't come, and Bolton pounced to equalise.
Elmander was the architect, intercepting the ball in a dangerous position and poking the perfect pass through to Sturridge, who took one touch before stroking a shot past Steve Harper from the edge of the box.
Newcastle came out with renewed purpose in the second half, probing down the left hand side particularly.
Jose Enrique skipped through two tackles before cutting on to his weaker right foot and forcing a save from Jaaskelainen just three minutes after the restart.
But Newcastle's efforts were undermined when Taylor saw red for a poor tackle shortly before the hour mark.
Going in two-footed on Elmander, he left referee Chris Foy with little choice but to send him off.
The Trotters appeared to sense a chance to win the game, but they struggled to fashion meaningful opportunities to score.
Kevin Davies failed to make a good contact with a pinpoint Marco Alonso cross from the left, while Martin Petrov forced a corner when Sturridge stood up a cross from the right-hand side of the area with a quarter of an hour remaining.
Newcastle were persistent too, with substitute Nile Ranger making his presence felt and drawing fouls in key areas.
And the best chances fell to the home side in the final stages.
Best's teasing cross required Robinson and Jaaskelainen to be at their most alert as the defender nodded back from close range to his keeper.
And there was drama in stoppage time when Ranger had the ball in the back of the net for the Magpies after another superb cross from Enrique - only for the goal to be chalked off for offside.